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Todo Heisuke
Todo
Todo Heisuke

Age:

20 (at the beginning of the series)
21 (Volume 8)

Born:

1844[1]

Rank:

Captain of the 8th Troop

First Appearance:

Volume 1

Family:

Todo Izumino (Possible father)

Todo Heisuke (藤堂 平助) is a member of the Shinsengumi and close friend of Yamanami Keisuke.

Early LifeEdit

Todo Heisuke was the illegitimate son of the Isetsu clan's Lord Todo Izumino - or at least this is the story he tells as his favorite jokes. [2] His real past is much of a mystery, though by the time he was 17, Todo was a houseguest at the Shieikan where Kondo Isami and Okita Souji trained. Todo insists he came there to refine his skills as well, though he was promptly beaten by Soji, who was also 17 and had already earned the rank of assistant instructor. A friendly rivalry began, as Todo told Soji he would one day beat him. Todo is also trained in martial arts (mokurokusha).

In the ShinsengumiEdit

Todo is often seen hanging around Harada Sanosuke, Nagakura Shinpachi and Inoue Genzanboro. Arguable the most normal of the group, Todo is introduced training new potential troop members. He just so happens to be sparing with Tominaga Sei and though she's not particularly skilled, Todo has a hard time hitting such a "pretty face".

Todo is also incredibly close to Yamanami Keisuke. After his mentor is ordered to commit seppuku for deserting the troop, Todo is angry and hostile towards Hijikata. Though Hijikata had expected Ito Kashitaro to use Todo's anger against him, Ito in fact does the exact opposite.

The Ikedaya AffairEdit

During the Ikedaya Jiken, or Ikedya Affair, Todo received a nasty head wound after his hachigane slips off [3]. Tominaga Sei is able to instruct Shinpachi on how to bandage Todo's wound, and also helps the other injured members (including Soji, who had fainted) because of her medical background. Thanks to her help, he later recovers, though the wound leaves a large scar in the middle of his forehead. He grows his hair out to cover the scar.

Prison MassacreEdit

Some weeks later, the chosu army attacked the emperor's palace and numerous fires were set in the city. Over 28000 homes and buildings were burned; the wind carried the flames closer to Mibu Village and Rotsukaku Prison. Todo and Yamanami headed over to Rotsukaku with the intent on helping the guards secure the prisoners, should they try to use the fire to escape. On the way, he meets a young girl who trips; though Todo tried to help her, she angrily pushes him away, yelling at him not to touch her. 

When they reach the prison, they hear horrible screams coming from the inside. What they find is a massacre; magistrate Takigawa decided to brutally stab the prisoners to death, as he did not feel they would return if temporarily released. Though Takigawa (and all those involved) is clearly upset by his choice, Yamanami and Todo are shocked that he would do such a thing. Takigawa commands them to learn their place, though Todo manages to trip him before the two leave. Yamanami is emotionally and physically upset by what he saw.

Finding OyuEdit

Later at the Shinsengumi headquarters, Todo and Yamanami relay what they have seen to Kondo and Hijikata. They all realize that, should the magistrate complain, Todo and Yamanami may have to commit seppuku. When the others realize this, the band together and tell Todo to go to Shimabara on their expense (Sei is, as usual, bewildered that once again the "answer" to the men's problems is sleeping with a prostitute). Todo eventually gives in, though he stumbles across some fire refugees on the way. He's approached by a young woman - the same one whom he had met days early outside of the prison - who first asks if he will buy her, but then quickly retracts her offer, violently pushing him away when she realizes Todo is a member of the Shinsengumi.

Though Todo means her no harm, the woman threatens to kill herself if he touches her. She explains that she was working at the Ikedaya as a maid, and witnessed the horrible, bloody massacre. Todo apologizes but has no excuses for her, though he tells her that he may have to commit seppuku soon, if that's any help. Todo tries to leave her some money (so she won't have to sell herself), but she throws it back at him, causing Todo's nose to bleed. Her fiery spirit amuses Todo, who says she will do fine on her own, before leaving her.

OyuTodo
As the days pass, rumors begin in Shimabara that it was actually the Shinsengumi who were responsible for the murders at the prison. Todo realizes it must be the girl he saw a few days ago and heads to Shimabara to find answers. Todo evntually finds her, and learns that her name is Oyu. He (carefully) drags her outside and asks Oyu why she is selling herself as he left her enough money to live on for awhile. Oyu retorts that she would never want to be indebted to the Shinsengumi. Todo tries to explain that they has nothing to do with the prison murders, but as Oyu pushes him away, she knocks off his bandage, revealing his scar. Todo ends up back at headquarters, telling Yaminami that he couldn't think of what else to do....Yamanami says that Todo should have just told her that he was in love with her. Flustered that Yamanami figured it out, Todo begs for money from Okita and Sei so he can buy her freedom, then heads back to Shimabara to find Oyu. Todo arrives just in time, saving her from the man who originally started the rumors. As he runs off, Todo confesses his feelings for her, though Oyu replies that she is tainted - the truth was that she worked at the Ikedaya as the master's plaything, and was actually glad that he died during the incident. Todo kisses her, saying she's not tainted but instead she's beautiful.

Though the man returns (this time with a sword), Todo makes quick work of him. The next day, he finds a note from Oyu - she has decided to leave and, although she reciprocated his feelings, she is too afraid that he would be the next to die. Todo is obviously heart-broken, but not long after, he is sent to Edo to recruit more members.

New RecruitsEdit

In HistoryEdit

Like his manga counterpart, little is known about Todo Heisuke's origins, though he was said to be the illegitimate son of Todo Takayuki, the 11th generation lord of the Tsu domain, born sometime around 1844 in Edo.

After the Shinsengumi was formed, he was first promoted to assistant vice captain, then later to captain of the Eighth Troop.

ReferencesEdit

  1. Volume 1
  2. VOlume8, Chapter 37
  3. Volume 6